4530.0 - Crime Victimisation, Australia, 2017-18 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/02/2019   
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This release presents results from the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) national Crime Victimisation Survey, conducted from July 2017 to June 2018 as part of the ABS Multipurpose Household Survey (MPHS). The survey collected information, via personal telephone interview, about people’s experiences of a selected range of personal and household crimes in the 12 months prior to interview. The survey also collected sociodemographic information about the respondent, and selected characteristics of the most recent incident they experienced, including relationship to perpetrator and whether the incident was reported to police.

This is the tenth annual Crime Victimisation Survey conducted by the ABS since it was redesigned in 2008–09. This publication includes some historical data from earlier Crime Victimisation Surveys (refer to Time Series Data Cube). Information on the concepts and methods used in the survey, reliability of the results, definitions and interpretation are included in the Explanatory Notes, Technical Note, and Glossary.

The statistics referred to throughout the commentary are available for download as data cubes from the Downloads tab. Only data with a relative standard error (RSE) of less than 25% are referred to in the text of this publication, and all comparisons discussed have been tested for statistical significance between data items (refer to the Technical Note).


The survey included both personal crimes and household crimes. Definitions of the individual crime types can be found in the Glossary.

Personal crimes

Personal crime in the Crime Victimisation Survey refers to crimes, or offences, that were committed against a person directly, which caused or threatened harm to their physical self.

The personal crimes included in the survey were:

  • physical assault
  • threatened assault (including face-to-face and non face-to-face threatened assault)
  • robbery (including attempts)
  • sexual assault (including attempts).

Information about experiences of physical assault, threatened assault and robbery was collected for persons aged 15 years and over, and information about sexual assault was collected for persons aged 18 years and over.

Diagram 1: Types of personal crime included in the Crime Victimisation Survey

Diagram showing that personal crime is comprised of total assault, robbery and sexual assault. Total assault can be broken down into physical assault and threatened assault (which includes face-to-face and non face-to-face threatened assault)

Household crimes

Household crime in the Crime Victimisation Survey refers to crimes, or offences, that were committed with the intention of depriving a person of, or damaging, their personal property.

The household crimes included in the survey were:
  • break-in
  • attempted break-in
  • motor vehicle theft
  • theft of property from a motor vehicle
  • malicious property damage
  • other theft.

When referring to victims of these types of crime, it is the household as a whole that is considered the victim, rather than a specific individual within the household.

Diagram 2: Types of household crime included in the Crime Victimisation Survey
Diagram showing that household crime is comprised of break-in, attempted break-in, motor vehicle theft, theft from a motor vehicle, malicious property damage and other theft


For the Crime Victimisation Survey, a victim is a person or household who has experienced at least one incident of a selected type of crime in the 12 months prior to interview in 2017–18. While state and territory legislative definitions of these crime types may differ, the survey questions define them in terms of specific behaviours and actions to ensure consistency in definitions and responses across jurisdictions. For example, a respondent was counted as a victim of physical assault if they reported they had experienced 'physical force or violence' against their person. Responses therefore reflect individual respondents' subjective understanding of the survey questions and their own interpretation of their experiences.

Although a respondent may have experienced more than one incident of a given crime type in the reference period, they are only counted once as a victim of the crime type.


An incident is a single occurrence of a criminal event, such as a break-in to a household or an assault of a person. In any particular incident, a number of different crime types may be committed against a person or household. The Crime Victimisation Survey collects separate information about each selected offence that occurs within an incident.

For instance, a person might confront someone breaking into their home and deliberately damaging property and subsequently be assaulted during that same incident.

In this example, the person would be counted as a victim of physical assault, and the household would be counted as a victim of each break-in and malicious property damage (as demonstrated in Diagram 3).

Diagram 3: Breakdown of incident recording

Diagram showing how an incident can be made up of several different crime types, in this case, an incident of break-in that involved two household crimes (break-in and malicious property damage) and one personal crime (physical assault)


People and households may experience more than one criminal incident in the 12 months prior to interview, which may involve the same crime type or differing crime types. For the Crime Victimisation Survey, 'multiple victimisation' refers to experiences of more than one incident of the same crime type within the 12 months prior to interview. For example, for the purposes of this survey a person who reports experiencing physical assault on three separate occasions within the reference period is considered as having experienced multiple victimisation for physical assault. Where a person or household experienced multiple victimisation, specific details (e.g. relationship to the offender, the type of property stolen or defaced) are only collected for the most recent incident of each crime type experienced by the person or household.

Statistics about multiple victimisation are presented as a categorical variable in this publication, based on the number of incidents of each crime type experienced by victims.


To minimise the risk of identifying individuals in aggregate statistics, a confidentiality technique called perturbation is used to randomly adjust cell values. Perturbation involves small random adjustment of the statistics and is considered the most satisfactory technique for avoiding the release of identifiable statistics while maximising the range of information that can be released. These adjustments have a negligible impact on the underlying pattern of the statistics. Perturbation has been applied to data from 2013-14 onwards.

Where the same statistic is published more than once in different tables it is perturbed in the same way to ensure consistency across tables. However, cell values may not add up to totals within the same table as a result of perturbation.


The ABS publishes crime statistics drawn from a range of sources, all with differing measurement methodologies, which can yield different results. As such, caution should be exercised when making comparisons between different data sources. For more information, see the Data Comparability section in the Explanatory Notes.


For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070. The ABS Privacy Policy outlines how the ABS will handle any personal information that you provide to us.